(Adds details on other companies trimming 2015 capital expenditure)
By Nia Williams
CALGARY, Alberta, Nov 7 (Reuters) - Crescent Point Energy became the latest Canadian oil producer to reveal plans to trim 2015 capital spending on Friday, as falling crude prices prompted some companies to rein in budgets.
The light oil producer has a budget of C$2 billion for 2014 but said on Friday next year’s capital expenditure could be slightly lower as a result of volatile crude prices.
“We are currently in the middle of the 2015 budget process, we haven’t finalized anything yet, but given the recent volatility the 2015 budget will be slightly lower than 2014, but not significantly,” Crescent Point Chief Executive Officer Scott Saxberg told analysts on a third-quarter earnings call.
Despite plans to lower 2015 spending, Crescent Point said it was well-protected in the current price environment and was always on the lookout for merger and acquisition opportunities, particularly in areas where the company already had a presence.
“We have obviously a focus on southeast Saskatchewan, and Shaunavon and Uinta, and so opportunities that are in those areas, if they come about and present themselves and the value is there, we are obviously going to be compelled to act and consolidate these fields,” Saxberg said.
The Shaunavon field is located in southwest Saskatchewan and the Uinta basin is a light oil play in Utah.
Most companies will announce capital expenditure plans for 2015 in December and are keeping a close eye on the recent sell-off in Brent and U.S. crude.
Talisman Energy Inc said earlier this week it will take the price outlook into account when firming up budgets.
Crescent Point’s guidance followed a move by Bellatrix Exploration to reduce its initial 2015 capital budget by nearly 13 percent to C$450 million.
Enerplus Corp, which operates in the U.S. Bakken and Marcellus shale plays as well as Canada, also said it will have a modestly lower capital spending program next year than in 2014 when its budget totaled $830 million.
Oil sands giant Canadian Natural Resources Ltd boosted its 2015 capital spending by 11 percent earlier this week, but the $8.6 billion budget was still shy of the $8.8 billion expected by analysts at BMO Capital Markets. (Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Matthew Lewis)